This article was originally published on chopra.com by Mallika Chopra, CEO of Chopra Global.
Finding ways to ground yourself is a powerful way to maintain equanimity when the world around you seems to just be a bit too much. In life, the reality is that you will face challenges – perhaps health concerns, relationship turmoil, work frustration, financial uncertainty, or general angst.
Grounding is being present, stable, and receptive to your inner and outer worlds. Tools that can help you stay anchored in spirit and presence can empower you in challenging times and feel gratitude when things are in flow.
Grounding is a practice that you can incorporate easily into your everyday life, whether it is helping you start the day with inspiration and intention or finding renewed energy during a midday slump. These practices can be done at home or discretely in the workplace.
I have found that meditation, setting intentions, physically grounding myself with breath, body awareness and affirmations, and noticing the messages my body, mind, and surroundings are telling me, have helped me stay anchored in awareness when events around me can seem overwhelming. In addition, I find that engaging my senses – whether through a scent, taste or sound can serve as a ritual to find the moment of serenity to get through the rest of my tasks.
Take a quiet moment to try one (or all!) of these practices to help you feel refreshed and renewed.
Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to find inner stability. A mantra-based meditation practice, helps you slow down racing thoughts and feel presence in its purest form. The daily routine of meditation practice brings awareness into all aspects of your life. You carry the moments of peace, space, and expansiveness from your meditation to the other parts of your daily routine.
SO HUM mantra meditation practice:
- Take a deep breath, in and out.
- Mentally, repeat the following mantra in your head as you breathe normally: SO HUM, SO HUM, SO HUM.
- When your attention drifts away from the sound, SO HUM, gently bring your attention back to the mantra.
- See how just one minute of this practice helps you take conscious breaths and may settle your thoughts.
2. Setting an intent
Setting an intent is a grounding practice. An intent is planting the sacred seeds of your deepest desires. Intents come from the soul and anchor you in love, gratitude, and strength. One of my most powerful daily intents is the following:
My intent is to maintain stillness in the midst of chaos.
I have written this intent down on random pieces of paper or typed it on a blank page on my computer multiple times – on those days when I feel overwhelmed, overstimulated, overworked.
Stating the intent is part of my process to anchor the idea into my psyche, remind myself I have the power to slow down, to breathe, and to witness all that is going on around me.
Create your own intent:
- Take a few deep breaths to settle in and ask yourself, what is my intent at this moment.
- Think about what you want to experience – calm, connection, energy, inspiration.
- Complete the sentence: My intent is _______.
- You may want to write it down or silently repeat your intent to anchor you in the here and now.
3. Body awareness, combined with breath and affirmations
Affirmations, guided by body and breath awareness, are another powerful way to anchor yourself in present moment awareness.
Here is an exercise that helps me in moments when I find myself getting anxious about the future.
- Stand tall with your arms gently falling to your sides.
- With your feet on the ground, put your attention to your feet and to the stable ground below. Take a deep breath, in and out. Say to yourself, I AM GROUNDED.
- Put your hands on your heart.
- Take a deep breath, in and out. Say to yourself, I AM HERE.
- Let your hands fall naturally to your sides again, and shift your attention to the top of your head.
- Feel the space above your head to the skies and the universe beyond.
- Take a deep breath, in and out. Say I AM. I AM.
4. Engage the senses
Our senses are the tools our body and mind use to process external stimuli into our internal physical and mental experiences. Herbal teas can help anchor you through taste and aromas – a calming tea – like chamomile or lavender – can help relieve stress and help you slow down.
The process of making your tea and taking the time to sip it while doing nothing else can also be a ritual that grounds you in present moment awareness. Aromatherapy is also a powerful way to incorporate balancing scents into your daily routine.
When we are grounded and present, the universe often sends us the messages we need for any particular moment. Noticing means paying attention to your internal dialogue, to the messages your body is telling you through pain and exhaustion, or energy and vitality. Noticing also means paying attention to people, places, and circumstances you find yourself in.
A conscious approach to being present, taking a deep breath, connecting with your body, and just being (vs. doing) can give you the insight and inspiration you need at this particular moment.
Incorporate noticing during your daily activity – perhaps while doing the dishes, feeling the sensation of water on your hands, smelling the scent of the soap, and appreciating the texture of the sponge and plates as you do this everyday task. Or, consciously seek out one or two new things on your way to your car or while you take your pet for a walk. You can choose to notice your child’s body language as they tell you about their day at school.
When you slow down to notice everyday interactions in this way, you will feel more connected to your inner being, as well as to others.
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